Then again, I've already drawn computer slash, so maybe this is the wrong time to be freaking out.
"Security Updates". PG-13/R-ish, I guess, depending on how good your imagination is. I'm vague.
It’s really not a great time to disconnect.
As it usually is, the couch providing the backdrop for all of this pleasant interfacing – pleasant enough that both sets of fans are whirring audibly, and PC’s nearly to the point of raising concern – is Mac’s. Which means he kind of knows who’s come calling. Very few in his circle have that kind of timing.
“Ignore it,” he mumbles against PC’s mouth, denim-wrapped knees pressing firmly into the cushions at either side of the other’s waist. But even as he says it, he doesn’t have high hopes. PC gets uncomfortable when things are left hanging like that. He likes things to be dealt with, completed, accepted and neatly filed away. Mac makes a valiant attempt to distract him by kissing him into breathlessness, but old habits die hard, and PC is the one to eventually pull away. He looks curious, a little concerned. A minute ago he looked dazed and blissful. Mac finds himself missing that expression.
“Shouldn’t you get that? It might be something important,” he points out, removing his glasses – they’ve gotten endearingly fogged up, and get a quick cleaning on his remaining undershirt – and Mac knows he’s going to have to, eventually. He multitasks; he prioritizes. He can just as easily put this visitor off till later, no matter how insistent the little bouncing twinge in his dock gets. But PC, he’s a detail guy. Something like that’ll drive him crazy if it’s left alone too long.
“It’s not,” he answers, one last stab at sidestepping the interruption, but PC’s fingers are already tapping thoughtlessly on his hip, matching the insistent “look!-look!-look!” at the periphery of his attention. No dice. Stifling a sigh, he abandons the comfy setup of couch and PC, detangling a relevant limb or two in the process. One retrieved shirt later (it’s inside-out; he honestly doesn’t notice) he’s at the door, carefully positioned to shield the incriminating view into the living room, with the couch and the clothes and the endearingly disheveled PC. He knows how people talk.
“New software is available!”, chirps Software Update, looking all cheerful and well-meaning.
Oh, he totally called this.
“Yeah, uh…I’m…gonna install those later,” he promises, and he does mean it. Undoubtedly there are useful things in the trio of boxes Software Update is proffering, but surely they’ll still be useful in a few hours, right? Still, Mac would feel a little bad making him come over again, out of his usual schedule, so he takes the packages all the same and offers his thanks, only to set them pointedly aside (the boxes, not the thanks) as soon as the door’s closed. He has more important things to do right now. His shirt is back on the floor before he even gets to the couch.
“What did you get?” PC asks, peering past the (admittedly nice) foreground of shirtless!Mac to curiously eye the packages. Mac has already lost interest in them and reinstalled himself atop PC’s lap, denim on tweed, palms on shoulders.
“Updates,” he answers simply, leaning in to pick up where they’d left off. He has to admit, it’s a nice connection, especially when the lips get involved. Breaking the link always leaves him feeling strangely wistful, but right now he’s got PC where he wants him, more or less. PC, however, hasn’t quite been relaying back since Mac answered.
“Updates? What kind? Are they important?” Oh, geez. Here it comes. PC has plenty of neuroses, some more troubling, some strangely likeable. Mac isn’t sure where he stands on this one: the update thing.
PC has always been fastidious about his own maintenance, grabbing every patch, every bug fix, the moment it’s available. It makes sense; he has a lot to protect himself from, a lot of vulnerabilities to keep guarded. Mac never questions that, never has. What still catches him off-guard is the way that protective instinct seems to extend to him as well. He’s explained that he’s safer (in the most diplomatic language he can find), that he’s just not at the kind of risk PC is. Hell, he even made a graph about it. Speaking the native language, in a sense. He is nothing if not versatile.
PC had said it was a nice graph. More than anything, he’d been impressed by the fact that Mac actually made one.
Even with graphs, though, and printouts and figures and the handful of other ways Mac has tried to reassure him, PC still worries. Frankly, the Big Guy’s just been burned too many times by security holes or late updates, and can’t quite grasp that no, really, Mac’s fine, honest. That those can be installed later, or not at all, and the world won’t end.
Mac indulges him for now, because if he doesn’t, the well-intended anxiety will get less well-intended and more anxious, and if PC locks up now, they’re going to have to start all over. Mac likes foreplay as much as the next guy, but really, one run-through is enough for him. “Uh…New version of Quicktime,” he answers, leaning over the armrest to study the labels on the boxes dropped there. “iTunes update, and then…y’know, a general, overall kind of thing.” That last one is presented with a very intentional, very dismissive hand-wave. It’s the one PC is going to get on his case about the most, if he lets things come to that. He’s increasingly hoping they won’t, and fingers at the hem of PC’s undershirt, inching it up largely just to distract him.
It doesn’t work. PC is notoriously goal-oriented.
“Overall? Something for your entire OS? You should at least install that one now,” he fusses, and Mac boggles a little. Only PC could manage to sound so…so PC-ish while half-dressed and in the middle of a (growingly one-sided) makeout session.
“Seriously, PC, it can wait---“
“No! Look!” In a fairly ungainly bit of shifting, made only moreso by having a lapful of Mac to work around, he’s managed to lean over and grab the biggest box from beside the couch – the “general, overall kind of thing” one – and nudges his glasses up his nose as he reads off the label. “OpenType fonts…uh…scanner performance, camera, blah blah blah” – Mac knows not to take the blah-blahing of his favorite peripherals to heart – “…security updates!” It’s the last bullet on the list, but it’s the one thing Mac knows he can’t get away with neglecting around PC. They’ve argued about it, both before and after Mac’s forays into graph-making. He’s stuck now.
Damn, though. If it’d been delivered, like, an hour or so later, he would feel so much more motivated to stop and go through the installation.
The little gray arrow on the label doesn’t do much to motivate him either. He knows what it means.
He doesn’t want to restart in front of PC.
It’s probably a little superficial, that. Heck, he’s seen PC do it more times than he can count, generally without any particular flair or ceremony (unless it’s unintentional, in which case there are always those few awkward minutes spent waiting for him to come back up to speed). It’s not like it’s a weakness or something. Everyone does it. Even him, once in a very rare while.
Actually, it’s probably the ‘very rare while’ thing that makes it uncomfortable for him. PC is supposed to restart. It’s expected. But Mac…Restarting makes him feel like the runway model caught scarfing down donuts. It’s graceless. It’s base. It’s not supposed to be him. And somehow the fact that PC would probably be more sympathetic than anyone else just doesn’t come across as comforting.
“Buddy, you know my security’s not---“ he starts, but stops at the look PC’s giving him. Mac excels at fun. PC excels at…actually, he excels at Excel, which is kind of funny in an awful punny way, but that’s not the point. What he also excels at, what Mac was actually thinking with regards to that look, is stern. Stubborn.
That is a look that says, ‘You are going to install those security updates, young man.’ Mac wants to mentally tack on ‘and you kids get off my lawn’, but has the good sense to keep that to himself. Still, it seriously kind of fits right then.
More troublingly, it is a look that says ‘No networking until you have’. They always use a firewall, but PC has that well-grounded paranoia built into his circuitry by now.
‘Especially not the fun kind.’
PC can be surprisingly expressive without saying a thing, sometimes. Mac’s beaten on this one.
“…Fine,” he says, and this time doesn’t manage to stifle the sighing that comes with it. He slouches his way off PC’s lap, and when his hands slip away, wrinkles his nose at the quick fizzle-click of the connection dissolving. Sure, they could theoretically keep it intact for this part, but he’s pretty sure the restart would throw PC off. The Quicktime and iTunes updates are probably good, and the iTunes one doesn’t even ask him to restart, but he’ll still save those for later. He just wants to get this over with. PC hands him the box, and onward ho.
It only takes a couple of minutes, and all the while he’s humming under his breath, fidgeting a little, fingers tapping along to whatever’s queued up in iTunes. PC is, frankly, impressed. Maybe a little jealous. He can’t even count on Winamp to cooperate when he’s in the middle of an install. Besides the low whirring of PC’s fans (Mac is less than thrilled at the way they’ve both cooled down; really, he’s going to start telling Software Update to just come by every couple of weeks, or something) and the tap-hum-tap-hum coming from Mac, they’re quiet. When PC’s doing an install around Mac, he shuts up to let him concentrate on that. Doesn’t want him overtaxing himself. Mac, contrarily, could be doing ten other things right then, but this is all a little unfamiliar and awkward (he prefers to do this kind of maintenance by himself) and the relative silence reigns till, at 74% (he can’t keep putting this off), Mac speaks up.
“I, uh…After this installs…since a lot of it is systemic, I…gotta restart.” He mumbles the last part. PC’s surprised expression assures him he didn’t mumble too much.
“Oh,” he answers after a long pause. Then takes another one, then, “…Oh. Okay.”
It’s weird. Not that he’s judging, but…it is. It’s really weird. He always figured Mac had to restart sometimes, because it’s just kind of a fact of life, and no way having that ‘iLife’ stuff exempts Mac from the normal kind. But he’s never actually seen it, and so the reminder that his theory (no one is above the occasional reboot) is true…is weird. He may not be the friendliest interface out there, but he can definitely pick up on the fact that Mac seems to agree with that feeling, and so tries to inject a little normalcy. You know, reassure him that it’s fine, that there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
“Well, uh…I’ll…I will be here when you come back,” he offers, and so much for not making things weird. But Mac doesn’t seem bothered by the awkward comment; surprised, yes, and then maybe even pleased. He does quirk a smile, and then ding! Installation complete. Okay. Great.
Still, PC’s words, so perfectly clumsy and so damn likeable (the fact that he’s still just as disheveled as before doesn’t hurt, either), are oddly comforting.
“Should just be a sec,” he answers, and flickers off.
It is. Not an actual second, obviously, but still quick enough to be filed under that term. PC does file it there; useful thing to know, he figures. He’s logged more about Mac than either of them probably realize, by now. Subfolders for everything.
But really. That ‘sec’ lasts a minute at most, maybe two, and PC waits patiently till the other snaps back to reality, blinking once or twice to clear his vision and giving his head a quick shake. He can feel the updates already. Not the security ones that PC had been so concerned about, not really; he was pretty secure to start with. Not the peripheral-related ones either, for obvious reasons. But his USB ports are practically humming with renewed potential, and he has a brief, affirming sense that he could network with anything right now. No matter what protocol. For someone with a long history of compatibility issues, that is a hell of a cool feeling.
“Oookay,” he finally says, eyes bright and refreshed. A night of sleep’s better for the short term, but even those rare, much-maligned restarts have their value. “I’m good.” PC starts to smile; Mac catches it and grins back, tacking on, “All secure-d up.”
When PC’s smile gets predictably broader in response, he has to feel it with his own, and just like that they’re connected again. In a rare but pleasant display of preparedness, PC seems to have saved things just as they were before the doorbell rang; in no time flat (another ‘just a sec’, by his clock) they’re back to the good old kissing and touching and PC’s fans are going like crazy.
He’s oddly satisfied when Mac’s kick in as well.
By that time, though, there are a lot of other things to occupy his attention. With a little quick grace (Mac’s) and a little eager fumbling (his), they’ve reduced the amount of clothing in play to two relatively thin layers of cotton and a pair of socks. And, in a rearrangement that went pretty well considering the amount of shuffling around it took, PC has ended up on his back, with Mac standing out bright and grinning against the white backdrop of the ceiling. There’s no getting around the fact that they were completely incompatible for years, and that even now things aren’t perfect. Sure, they can network, and Mac has that new talent with Bootcamp (which PC actually finds pretty neat, now that he’s mostly gotten over the initial feelings of utter defeat and obsolescence), but there are glitches. Still, when Mac pushes down close and kisses him, and they both go for the same motion with their hips, the integration feels utterly seamless.
“Mac,” he mumbles, ignoring a moment of self-consciousness as those quick, startlingly talented fingers run over the ample curve of his belly. If Mac has ever had any complaints about the uneven distribution of mass in this relationship, he hasn’t voiced them. The truth is that there aren’t any to voice. He likes PC, roundness and all. At a time like that, he’s not thinking so much about that anyways, more focused on how perfectly soft the other’s skin is, and how much he enjoys baring the last of it (feet aside; he lets PC keep his socks). Judging from the lightly sighed “Oh, yes” coming from the other end of the couch, PC enjoys it too. He pitches in a little, getting Mac to the same pleasant level of nudity, but without socks – he wasn’t wearing any to start with - and then that mutual hip-thing happens again and is about a hundred times better than the first time. Mac groans something pleased and incoherent, and despite having no idea what language that even was, PC agrees.
They’re both a nice kind of incoherent soon. Mac pants against PC’s ear, quiet and vaguely obscene statements about the rather serious filesharing going on here; PC goes endearingly pink all over but doesn’t stop moving, fingers locked firmly into Mac’s shoulders. What’s that thing he has – that sensor-thing, the one that stabilizes him if he moves too quickly? PC’s jealous of that right now. He could use a little more stable. But all the rocking and pushing is somehow a good kind of dizzying, and he goes with it, even if all he can come up with to say in response are stammered, repetitive affirmations. Mac is very good with his hands. And his hips. And everything.
Only here does the transfer actually go quicker as it progresses. Neither of them quite understand how that works out, but it does, and god is it ever nice. It’s inherently clumsy, both of them just bumping and pushing against each other, and by now PC isn’t the only one breaking a sweat. But PC has made a certain peace with clumsy, and the fact that Mac is with him means he’s done the same. Besides, it’s all worth it when it gets to this point, when they can’t even tell which data belongs to whom any more, when even Mac’s copious processing abilities are starting to stutter and PC’s mind has gone into a really nice kind of fog, perilously close to an all-out overload. Less than a minute remaining.
“Mac,” he pants again, and is rewarded with a shaky “Oh, yeah…oh yeah,” against his ear. Somehow, ‘less than a minute’ suddenly becomes ‘right now, dammit’ and PC’s low whimpering is all but droned out by the hum of fans trying desperately to keep him from just fizzling out all together. Mac, efficient guy that he is, is right there with him, and if his earlier sounds were a foreign language, PC’s pretty sure the ones he makes right then aren’t even words. They’re nice, though.
It takes PC a little longer to recover, once the strain is off the connection and they’re down to the nice system-idle of laying around breathlessly. By the time he’s got his wits about him again, Mac has buried his head comfortably against the soft flesh of PC’s neck. Vaguely, surreally, he can tell Mac is grinning into his skin.
“I’m gonna fall asleep,” Mac announces, and the groggy, satisfied undertones in his voice suggest it’d take more than a little mouse-jiggling to prevent that at this point. PC is absurdly warm still, even if the actual heat-generating part is over, and even with his fans pushing themselves like they are he’s a little worried about straining himself by letting Mac, also running hot, lay there too long. Then again, the alternative involves at least one of them getting up. This automatically makes it less than appealing.
He throws caution to the wind and just nods, hand drifting to rest fondly at the base of Mac’s spine. They’ve worked up more mutual heat than this before, and he walked away from it. He’ll be fine.
As promised, Mac is asleep almost instantly. PC learned some time ago that installations don’t tire Mac out the way they do him, but he still can’t help but think of today as sort of a big day in that respect. If it’d been him, after all, he’d have wanted a nap after a general update and patching like that one. For his part, he’s been doing some rather taxing networking, so he doesn’t fight it when his own sleep mode starts to kick in, even if it is pretty early. (Only Mac could convince him to put aside work on a weekday afternoon. It’s a bizarre talent.) Maybe he’ll make dinner when they wake up.
For now, he just casts an idle glance towards the discarded box from Mac’s update, then closes his eyes. He couldn’t sense the new security features while they were networking, and now that Mac’s gone to sleep they’re out of his reach, but the thought that they’re operating quietly in the background is very reassuring. Mac thinks he’s invincible, but so much of it is luck and good circumstances. The fact that he’s willing to take a precautionary step or two, even if it’s just to get PC off his back (never mind those double entendres)…that’s reassuring too.
He whirrs. Mac hums. They sleep, safe.